Dry Eye Syndrome? A Village Eyecare Chicago Optometrist Can Help
Everyone’s eyes depend on a healthy flow of tears for lubrication and moisture. However, when this complex tear system becomes unbalanced, you may experience a condition called dry eye syndrome. While dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition, the symptoms can significantly worsen in times of low humidity, especially during the winter. Dry eyes can be effectively managed by visiting an experienced Chicago optometrist at Village Eyecare. Continue reading to learn more about a few of the most effective treatments recommended by the professionals at Village Eyecare.
Causes of the Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome can also be caused by environments that dry out the tear film, such as extreme heat and air conditioning. Other causes of dry eye syndrome include:
- Collagen vascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Menopause and the natural aging process.
- Birth control pills, antihistamines, and other drugs.
- The eyelids not closing properly.
Treatments for Dry Eyes
Although there is no cure for this condition, a Chicago optometrist can utilize the following treatments to make you more comfortable.
Ointments and Artificial Tears
There are several over-the-counter artificial teardrops and ointments designed to treat dry eye syndrome, but you may have to try a few different drops to find the right solution. In any case, it’s vital to keep your eyes hydrated even when you feel fine.
Restasis is an FDA-approved eye drop designed to increase your ability to produce tears. With continued use, Restasis will increase your ability to produce tears.
In some instances, closing the tear drainage ducts with punctal occlusion is the only solution. This procedure blocks the drainpipe and increases your tear level. Most patients who have punctal occlusion have a reduced need for artificial tears and improved levels of comfort.
Steroid Drops and Topical Solutions
Steroid eye drops and topical solutions are typically used to manage the inflammation. In most instances, steroids will be used in conjunction with Restasis and artificial tears.
Dry Eye Tips for the Winter
In addition to visiting your Chicago optometrist, there are also a few things you can do to help reduce the symptoms during the winter months, such as:
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from excess light and the cold wind.
- Use a humidifier and a heater to make sure the indoor air has sufficient moisture. It’s best to keep your home humidity between 30% and 50%.
- Use a damp, warm washcloth on your eyelids for a few minutes to help relieve the strain and the symptoms.
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. If you drink tea, choose chrysanthemum and green teas because they are more beneficial for your eyes.
Several studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids will decrease the symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome. Speak to your Village Eyecare Chicago optometrist about other dietary changes you can make to help relieve the symptoms.